January 18, 2023
By Jo Wiersema
Midweek Musings is a weekly Covenant blog with a variety of authors and a variety of topics.
This past week was the kickoff to our Creation Care sermon series. Creation Care can mean a lot of different things. It can talk about just the tactile things we traditionally view within our reach: recycling and gardening. It can talk about the larger impact of fossil fuels and how and where we spend our time, talents, and treasures.
rev. abby mohaupt joined us on Sunday for her sermon, Adult Ed class, and I had the privilege to take her out to lunch and learn more about Ecotheology. Ecotheology focuses on the relationship between nature and religion. When we look at how we, as Christians, approach nature, we’re encouraged and called to be those who cultivate and celebrate the creation that God made.
abby reminded me about how creation and care for creation is more than just growing vegetables in your backyard (though that is helpful if you eat those veggies!).
Caring for creation is looking at the larger picture and understanding that not only are we to care for creation, but to advocate for all of creation and challenge the larger infrastructure that harms the world we live in. To care for creation is not a passive activity.
In the sermon on Sunday, abby mentioned bananas. In Wisconsin, in winter no less, this isn’t exactly prime banana growing season. What goes into getting that bunch of bananas off the shelf at Hy-Vee?
An extraordinary amount of water, chemicals used to keep those bananas growing large and fresh, and the transport of bananas from far and wide.
There are so many things to fix in the world, there’s so many places and systemic issues I should care about.
Where do bananas fit in the hierarchy of “things to fix today”?
I’m not sure.
This isn’t to say you need to leave bananas on the shelf on your next grocery visit, but to know the impact of the food you eat.
Maybe you make a point to eat the bananas you have before they brown. Maybe you look up organizations doing good work to create a sustainable future (like GreenFaith!). Maybe you look beyond your house and your yard, and you ask yourself: "what is one thing I can change?"
Can you walk to the library instead of driving? Can you buy less fast fashion clothing? Can you share information about how you’re caring for creation with friends and neighbors?
We are encouraged and further challenged to look at the world around us and address the problems at hand. I’ve said it in a variety of ways, but we are challenged to challenge the world.
To be Christian is to be countercultural. To care for creation is to care for ALL of creation, not just what we can see from our backyard. We are called to love our neighbor, and to which I include the trees and the birds and the chipmunks as my neighbor. We are called to love our enemies: the large fossil fuel companies, the CEOs with private jets, the individuals who are watching the world burn.
To love is to not be complacent. To love our enemies is to challenge them to also acknowledge and respect creation... to hold our enemies accountable to their actions and to do everything in our power to try and save the world. A world that God made for us to care for.
Go in peace to serve the Lord,